by Carmin Cappabianca
Author Mary Melfi’s In the Backyard tackles one of the most difficult parts of life: aging and coming to terms with one’s mortality. Melfi uses the metaphor of the garden in her backyard, an activity that started as a coping strategy after the loss of her husband.
“Strangely enough, writing this memoir didn’t come from an idea, but rather from a need. The need to find answers,” she explains.
Melfi said the most difficult task for this memoir and her other literary works is figuring out what not to include. The original draft of In the Backyard was triple the size of the final version.
Even though Melfi’s book is a memoir she believes that she must actually tell a story for her audience and not simply journal. She said the hope is that in sharing her own life events, readers can make connections to their own experiences.